New Zealand’s top travel bloggers share their best money tips for 2020
Globetrotting doesn’t come cheap…
From airfares to accommodation, travellers can end up spending a small fortune on their global escapades. Finder asked some of New Zealand’s most seasoned travel pros about how to keep your costs down while on the road.
Nicola Easterby, Polkadot Passport
Nicola caught the travel bug early, taking a year off to travel straight after high school. Since then, she’s travelled to 57 countries across 5 continents with no intention of stopping any time soon. Polkadot Passport offers inspiration and advice for adventurous female travellers, with travel tips ranging from accommodation advice to budgeting.
“Travel during the off-season. You’ll be able to find much better deals on flights, accommodation – even car rentals! Travelling off-peak also means the destination you visit will be a lot less infiltrated by tourists. This makes for an overall more pleasant travel experience.”
Sarah and Nathan, Exploring Kiwis
Husband and wife duo Sarah and Nathan are the travel-mad minds behind “Exploring Kiwis”. The adventurous pair are passionate about sharing travel tips that suit a range of budgets. To them, incredible experiences should be accessible to everyone and not just those living luxe. Their blog spans Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania, covering everything from Egyptian hot air ballooning to Hungarian street food.
Sarah and Nathan’s tip:
“To save money on the road, we try to compare activity prices and book in advance. Sites like Klook and Get Your Guide offer activities at great prices all around the world and will often come out cheaper than going directly to the provider (plus as an added bonus, you’ll be charged in your home currency, avoiding international bank fees). Some sites will even give you credits to use on future activities, helping you to save even more money.
We also recommend checking out regional travel groups on Facebook. There you’ll find recommendations from locals and experienced travellers who can tell you what’s worth spending your money on. New Zealand Travel Tips is also a wealth of information for travellers heading to NZ.”
Phil Wilson, Broken Limitz
Inspired by other travel bloggers who seemed to be living the dream, Phil swapped a 70-hour working week for life as a digital nomad. From here, Broken Limitz was born. Phil has since grown his blog into a how-to guide for aspiring travel bloggers and a tried-and-tested resource for travel enthusiasts. Phil has travelled to 50+ countries across 6 continents and has lived in several cities across the globe.
“My best money-saving tip for on the road is to always try and book in advance and shop around.”
Sonja Bolger, Migrating Miss
Sonja lived in New Zealand for the first 16 years of her life, before setting off to complete a year of high school in the United States. From then on, she was hooked on travelling. Sonja has lived in Spain, the United States, Australia and mostly recently Scotland. Migrating Miss is full of expat tips for living abroad and useful advice for planning a trip.
“Take time before you travel to work out the best way to spend your hard-earned cash on the road. This can save you a lot of money in the long run! Check with your bank about any fees that apply to foreign transactions (including transaction fees and ATM fees) and decide whether investing in a special travel card is worth it.
For shorter trips I often take out cash from a local ATM when I arrive and use that for almost everything, which minimises the amount of times I incur any transaction fees. For longer trips or holidays where I might need to use a card more often, travel cards can be the best option.”
Kyle Mulinder, Bare Kiwi
For Kyle, travel blogging combines his two passions: adventure travel and storytelling. Kyle has almost 20 years’ experience in the tourism industry. His love of photography and videography has given him the tools to share his experiences in a way that is not only engaging to his followers but also informative. Kyle also acts as a mentor for budding travel bloggers, providing tips and tricks on how to turn your passion for travel into a full-time career.
“My tip for saving money while traveling is simple. Don’t waste money on all the gear, spend it on the adventure.”
Jordan “Jub” Bryant, Tiki Touring Kiwi
Tiki Touring Kiwi covers a broad range of destinations including Australasia, Europe, North America and Asia. It also provides some great local knowledge on travelling through New Zealand, along with the occasional sport-related blog post.
“When I fly into a destination, I save money by catching public transport to my accommodation. Private transport options like taxis are usually overpriced and public transport is an adventure in itself. Once I’m familiar with the public transport system, it makes it easier to use throughout the rest of my stay.”
Brendan Lee, Bren on the Road
Bren worked as an accountant for two years after graduating, then took extended leave and embarked on an eight-week solo travel adventure that would change his life forever. Not long after he returned, Bren quit his job and never looked back. Bren on the Road is a comprehensive guide for first-time travellers offering information on everything from scoring cheap flights to getting paid while you travel.
“Your destination is easily the number one factor in how broke you’re going to be after your trip. Whether you’re travelling for a year or just taking a two-week vacation, try and choose the locations where your money will go the furthest. For example, some travellers might have their heart set on Paris for a romantic getaway, but a nice Parisian brunch will probably set you back €30 per person, while that cute French hotel will be €200+ per night.
But just a couple of hours away is the south of Portugal, the coast of Croatia or riverside in Budapest. These locations are all just as good and you’ll find an even nicer hotel for half the price along with cheap food and drink. It’s a rule that applies everywhere. Instead of Japan, try Vietnam. Instead of Los Angeles, try Mexico City. All dollars are not equal when it comes to travel.”
Anita Hendrieka, Anita Hendrieka
Anita is a Kiwi travel blogger living in Albania. She initially launched her blog with a lifestyle and design focus but shifted to travel after an overseas trip in 2012. Anita seeks to challenge misconceptions about certain parts of the world by sharing her own first-hand experiences, opinions and advice. Her articles cover everything from local eating guides to what to look for when choosing backpacker insurance, making her blog a a one-stop-shop for all things travel.
“If you’re looking for something to eat, always check out the local markets of whichever destination you’re in. This is one the best local experiences, and an authentic way to learn about a culture through its food. Forget comfortable restaurants- aim to eat where the locals eat. Prices of food at local markets are always so affordable as well!”
Hannah Martin, Intrepid Introvert
Proving that travel is not just for extroverts, Hannah Martin started her blog to empower introverts, extroverts and everyone in between to get outside their comfort zone. After graduating from her accounting and business degree, she packed her bags to travel the world. She has since visited 30 countries and intends to continue to grow that number.
“Buy less material things on the road. You don’t need ten handbags or ten pairs of shoes. And there’s no need to always buy new clothes or random things that will clutter up your house. Put that money into experiences instead.”
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